Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday political potpourri for a slow-starting Economic news week


 - by New Deal democrat

It’s a very slow most-of-the-week for economic data. Except for house prices, nothing much gets reported until Thursday, when a slew of data (personal income, spending, ISM manufacturing, construction, and jobless claims) all gets reported at once. And then Friday is the last jobs report before the election.

I’ll update the Coronavirus dashboard tomorrow or Wednesday. In the meantime, here’s a few random notes for your Monday morning.

1. YouGov has now premiered their own election model, which gives Biden 351 Electoral votes as the median forecast. The model does not give probabilities.

2. G. Elliott Morris makes an important point: the Trump tax returns story probably won’t change many minds, but it will set the narrative for another week before the election - and we are now only 5 weeks away. And every day that Trump fails to make up ground on Biden is another day making it more and more difficult.

3. Nate Silver concedes the obvious: you don’t need a fancy algorithm to conclude that as of now Trump is on track to lose the popular vote. And with Biden at 50% in the national polls, it’s almost impossible for Trump to make that up.

4. Current odds, according to 538, of the Democratic candidate winning a particular State’s Senate race, in decreasing order:

AZ - 77%
CO - 72%
NC - 64%
ME - 59%
IA - 47%
MT - 34%
GA - 24% (Ossoff)
SC - 20%
KS - 20%
AK - 14%
TX - 13%

Since I think Nate plays it too safe in his ratings, my preference is to give to the races that are closest to 50% probability, with a bias to those below.

5. As usual, ALL POLLING IS REALLY JUST NOWCASTS, NOT FORECASTS. The average deviation between polling now and the actual Presidential vote is about 2.2%. Further, because voters *react* to the polling (see, 2016, “Hillary has it in the bag”), the more people trust the polls, the more inaccurate they can be!